Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

You don't know bash

Carl Albing (US Naval Academy)
1:30pm5:00pm Monday, May 8, 2017
Adopt This Now
Location: Meeting Room 18 A/B
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • System administrators, programmers, Linux users, and script developers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of programming
  • General experience with shell scripting or any similar language (useful but not required)

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop (if you want to follow along)

What you'll learn

  • Gain a new respect for tried-and-true tool bash
  • Explore the newest bash version 4.x features
  • Learn bash techniques to make life at the keyboard easier
  • Discover a new repertoire of bash idioms for better scripting


Everyone thinks they know bash if they can type a few commands. Hey, you don’t know bash! Carl Albing leads a fast-paced tour of some of the newest features and most useful idioms in bash—the shell everyone needs to know—for better scripting, faster sysadmin-ing, and everyday work in open source development.

Carl begins by outlining eight powerful bash features that make bash more than just a simple scripting language (four kinds of “for” loops, many kinds of “if” statements, shell functions and redirections for robust scripting, and more). He then shares 10 things you probably don’t know about bash that will make your virtual life easier, covering shortcuts and idioms that put more power at your fingertips. Carl concludes with a review of the bash 4.x features that have beefed up bash and made it even more powerful and more useful.

Photo of Carl Albing

Carl Albing

US Naval Academy

Carl Albing is the RADM Frank Leighton Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Computer Science Department at the United States Naval Academy (USNA), where he teaches courses on high-performance computing, systems programming, and programming languages and compilers. Carl is a cofounder and codirector of the USNA’s Center for HPC Education and Research, which works to involve and support students and researchers in applying HPC to their classes and research work. Previously, Carl held a variety of positions at companies large and small, including roles in software engineering, customer support, and software management. An avid proponent of good scripting, Carl is the coauthor of the popular O’Reilly bash Cookbook (2nd edition forthcoming) and Prentice Hall’s Java Application Development on Linux. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Reading (UK).

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05/16/2017 4:41am CDT

Please provide slides for this presentation, so I am better able to share the information I learned in this talk with my coworkers. Thanks, Mark